NORTH ROBINSON – Hannah Crawford Elementary School will celebrate Start With Hello Week beginning the week of Sept. 20.
Start With Hello is a project from Sandy Hook Promise, a national nonprofit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012. The intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning tragedy into a moment of transformation.
Start with Hello teaches students the skills they need to reach out and include those who may be dealing with chronic social isolation and create a culture of inclusion and connectedness within their classroom and school.
By empowering youth to “know the signs” and uniting all people who value the protection of children, we can take meaningful actions in schools, homes, and communities to prevent gun violence and stop the tragic loss of life.
Social isolation is the overwhelming feeling of being left out, lonely, or treated like you are invisible. It is a growing epidemic in the United States and within our schools. Excessive feelings of isolation can be associated with violent and suicidal behavior.
In fact, one study reports that chronic loneliness increases the risk of an early death by 14%. Furthermore, young people who are isolated can become victims of bullying, violence and/or depression.
As a result, many pull further away from society, struggle with learning and social development and/or choose to hurt themselves or others.
Fifth grade Eagle Leaders take a leadership role and have organized some different activities to recognize the week. They will be standing at entryways to greet students every morning. There will be a Start With Hello table at recess. Students will be encouraged to sit at the table if they are feeling lonely, while others will be tending to the table and reaching out to those who are sitting there.
As a show of solidarity, students will be asked to wear green on Tuesday, September 21st. There will be other activities throughout the week, and a video will be created highlighting the week's activities that will be posted on the Hannah Crawford Facebook page.
Hannah Crawford School Counselor Tasha Lisle said she is encouraging parents to talk to their children about the Start With Hello program.
“Ask them to share what they have learned,” she said. “Not only will this help you learn how to support your child to identify isolation, reach out, connect and Start With Hello, it also demonstrates to your child that you take this subject seriously and can support them in their actions to create a more connected and inclusive home, classroom, school and community.”
Hannah Crawford Principal Cindy Voss said, “We want our Little Eagles to feel welcome and comfortable when they enter our doors. We want to create a safe environment where our students are respectful, responsible and ready to learn.”
Colonel Crawford Local Schools provides education to over 900 students from preschool through 12th grade. The district offers a curriculum with a wide range of electives and comprehensive courses of study in college preparatory, vocational and physical education programs. The district’s mission is to enable students to grow academically and socially by providing a safe, positive and challenging learning environment.